Saudi Arabia trains first women air traffic controllers

An air traffic control tower is shown in this file photo. Saudi women will soon be working as air traffic controllers, according to the Saudi Air Navigation Services (SANS).
Updated 20 September 2017

Saudi Arabia trains first women air traffic controllers

RIYADH: Saudi women will be trained to work as air traffic controllers, the Saudi Air Navigation Services (SANS) has announced.
SANS said it was offering theoretical and practical training to 80 women per year to prepare them for work in the air traffic control sector.
“The applicants began taking admission exams on Sunday for the Saudi Academy of Civil Aviation and will undergo a number of editorial tests,” the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said in a report.
Applicants must have a high school diploma with high marks and be between 18 and 25, it said.
Saudi Arabia seeks to create more jobs for women as part of a reform push to wean the economy off oil.
Its Vision 2030 plan aims to increase employment and diversify revenue sources.
Some of the planned changes, like increasing the number of women in the overall workforce to 28 percent from 23 percent and quadrupling their presence in senior civil service roles to 5 percent, would transform society.
Most employed women work for the Kingdom’s vast public sector, primarily in health and education, but authorities say they seek to encourage more hiring by private firms as part of the Vision 2030 plan.
Last year, a senior scholar said women should be allowed to work as paramedics and opticians, and last month women staffed an emergency call center at the Hajj pilgrimage for the first time.


Saudi Arabia clarifies travel rules on students studying abroad

Updated 46 sec ago

Saudi Arabia clarifies travel rules on students studying abroad

  • General Directorate of Passports says all students are exempt from requiring permit from guardian
  • Exemption applies even if they are under 21 and traveling abroad to study

RIYADH: All Saudi students studying oversees will no longer need a permit from their guardians when they travel, even if they are under the age of 21.

Saudi Arabia’s General Directorate of Passports announced Monday that students will only require proof of their scholarship from the Ministry of Education.

The clarification comes after a sweeping set of reforms announced in a royal decree last month gave the right of every Saudi citizen to obtain a passport. A guardian’s approval is only needed for children.

Ther passports directorate also said Monday that after the death of both parents, a sibling above the age of 21 can provide a travel permit to a minor, provided he or she has been designated the legal guardian by a judge’s order.

The July 30 royal decree was widely welcomed in both the Kingdom and around the world. Among the most important changes to the law was that Saudi women no longer required permission from a male guardian to travel or obtain a passport.